Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces 15 New Nurse Faculty Scholars

Prestigious program aims to advance careers of nation's most promising junior nurse faculty, address nursing faculty shortage.

    • October 22, 2009

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced the selection of 15 outstanding nursing faculty from across the country to participate in its prestigious Nurse Faculty Scholar program, which aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. The program will provide $28 million over the next five years to outstanding junior nursing faculty to promote academic careers and reduce the national nurse and nurse faculty shortages. This is the second cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars.

Each Nurse Faculty Scholar receives a three-year $350,000 grant to pursue his or her research, as well as mentoring from senior faculty at his or her institution. The award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.

“The recipients of this year’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar awards have tremendous talent, skill and potential,” said Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N, F.A.A.N., who is Anna D. Wolf Chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, which administers the program. “Their commitment to improving public health, advancing health care and sharing their knowledge with others is impressive. We look forward to working with them as they contribute to nursing research and the academy, and find ways to advance the nation’s health.”

This year’s Nurse Faculty Scholars are investigating a wide range of health issues, from strategies to slow the spread of HIV infection among women who have been incarcerated or detained in jail, to how parental feeding patterns influence infant and child eating patterns later in life, to interventions to improve the lives and health of older adults with dementia in assisted living facilities.

Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a severe shortage of nurse educators that threatens to undermine the health and health care of all Americans. Many schools of nursing lack the resources needed to hire and support enough faculty to train the next generation of nurses. As a result, nursing schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants—rejecting the very people who can help reverse a serious looming nurse shortage. As the supply of nurses shrinks and the demand for their services grows, patient care will suffer.

The Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholars program aims to curb the effects of the nursing shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service in their universities.

The program will also enhance the stature of the Scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.

To receive the award, Scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.

This year’s Nurse Faculty Scholar award recipients and their research projects are:

  • Jesus Casida, Wayne State University, The Relationship of Sleep Pattern Disturbance, Depression, Cognitive Function, and Self-Care in Adults with Long-Term Left Ventricular Assist Devices [LVADs];
  • Maren Coffman, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, A Health Literacy Intervention for Latina Women with Diabetes;
  • Elizabeth Galik, University of Maryland, Testing the Feasibility and Impact of Function Focused Care for Cognitively Impaired Residents in Assisted Living;
  • Michael Gates, San Diego State, Supplemental Nurses: Who Are They, What Motivates Them, and What Outcomes Are Associated with Their Employment;
  • Janice Goodman, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Mother-Infant Intervention for Prevention of Postpartum Depression and Associated Mother-Infant Relationship Dysfunction;
  • Kathleen Hickey, Columbia University, CHANGE: Changing Healthcare and Nursing through Genetics;
  • Eric Hodges, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Maternal Feeding Responsiveness and Risk of Obesity from Infancy through Early Childhood;
  • Angela Hudson, University of California at Los Angeles, Foster Youth Stay Smart with “Street Smart:” an HIV and Pregnancy Prevention Program for At-Risk Teens;
  • Versie Johnson-Mallard, University of South Florida, Word of Mouth: An Intervention Study Targeted at Decreasing Viral STIs among a Diverse Group of Young Adult Males and Females;
  • Randy Jones, University of Virginia, Decision Making Among Transitional Proxies and Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer;
  • Sandra Kuntz, Montana State University, Methylmercury Risk, Awareness, and Exposure: Fort Peck Tribal Community and Academic Partnership;
  • Donna Robertson, East Carolina University, Keep It Safer Sister: An Intervention Study to Reduce HIV Risk for Female Detainees;
  • Martin Schiavenato, University of Rochester, Development of a Multidimensional Pain Detection Device for Neonates;
  • Ruth Taylor-Piliae, University of Arizona, Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Physical Functioning, Quality of Life, and Exercise Behavior in Stroke Survivors; and
  • Tami Thomas, Medical College of Georgia, Prevalence and correlates of Human Papillomavirus [HPV] vaccination in rural areas.

The Nurse Faculty Scholar program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, we work with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years we’ve brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those we serve. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, we expect to make a difference in your lifetime.